IVANHOE Mines said its battle with Rio Tinto for control of Mongolia"s Oyu Tolgoi mine was continuing.
It said it was sticking to a shareholders" rights plan that had led its project partner to go to arbitration.
The plan, adopted by Ivanhoe"s board in April, could make it difficult for Rio to take a majority stake in Ivanhoe, which is developing Oyu Tolgoi, a huge deposit of copper and gold slated to start production in 2013.
Rio Tinto, which owns 29.6 per cent of Ivanhoe, claimed in an arbitration filing last month that the plan breached its rights under a 2006 private placement agreement between the two companies.
"It is Ivanhoe Mines" view that nothing in the private placement agreement prohibits Ivanhoe Mines from implementing a shareholders" rights plan and that nothing in the shareholders" rights plan breaches any of Rio Tinto"s existing contractual rights under the private placement agreement, as amended," the company said.
"Ivanhoe Mines will continue to support its shareholders" rights plan in the arbitration proceeding initiated by Rio."
Rio Tinto declined to comment. But a person close to Rio said the company believed it had a strong case for preserving its rights.